Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Libya compares Gaza to 'concentration camps': UN envoys walkout from the Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - France on Wednesday led a walkout of Western envoys from a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East after Libya compared the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip to Nazi "concentration camps," diplomats said.
One diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said France's UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert took off his earpiece and walked out, followed by his Western colleagues, after his Libyan counterpart Giadalla Ettalhi made the remarks.
The incident occurred as the 15-member Council was trying to agree on a compromise statement that would have highlighted the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza while also contributing positively to efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
South Africa's UN Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, the council chairman this month, told reporters that members "could not agree" on the statement.


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